Bank of America Corp.'s board may extend its search for a chief executive into 2010 if directors cannot settle on a candidate in the next two days, according to people familiar with the matter.

The directors, who met Nov. 20, may be willing to go past their Thursday target and the Dec. 31 retirement of CEO Kenneth D. Lewis if it means getting a better choice, according to a person familiar with the deliberations. At least four external candidates, including Citigroup Inc. director Michael O'Neill, have rebuffed approaches. Options include an interim chief or a delay in Lewis' retirement.

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